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Topic – A Day in the Life of a Member of Parliament

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A Day in the Life of a Member of Parliament

I am a Member of Parliament—MP for short—from Regina, Saskatchewan. Come spend a day with me on the job in Ottawa, Ontario, at the Houses of Parliament.

The entrance to the House of Commons, Ottawa, Canada

9 a.m.

There are about 335 other MPs. We meet most days in the House of Commons. There, we talk about new laws and deal with issues that affect all Canadians.

Every day—it is called a “sitting”—in the House of Commons starts the same way. The Speaker is the person who makes sure everything happens in the proper order. The Speaker sits in a special chair at the front of the House of Commons. Then, another official called the Sergeant-at-Arms, places the Mace in front of the Speaker. The Mace is a big, heavy, gold-plated club that shows the power of the House.

House of Commons – The Speaker’s chair can be seen in the centre, 1880

The Speaker says a prayer, then the sitting really starts. The noisiest part is definitely Question Period, when MPs ask the government to explain its actions.

1 p.m.

Most MPs belong to one of the country’s five major political parties or groups. Those five are the Liberal, Reform, Bloc Québécois, New Democratic, and Conservative parties. My party elected the most MPs in the last election, so we are the government. The other parties are known as the Opposition.

I have been an MP only for a year so I am what is called a backbencher. I sit in the benches near the back of the House of Commons. The Prime Minister and the experienced politicians sit at the front.

House of Commons back benches

In Question Period, the opposition MPs can ask the government MPs about the laws, or bills, they want to pass. This morning, some MPs got very upset about a transportation bill. It took a while for the Speaker to quiet everyone down.

Just before the end of the sitting, we voted on the farm bill, and my party won.

4 p.m.

This afternoon was a lot quieter than this morning. Some people think when MPs are not in the House of Commons, we are not working. Not true. We are often meeting with other MPs to discuss subjects such as money, national security, transportation, and more.

A friend of mine who is an MP from New Brunswick is very interested in computers, so she is part of an industry, science and technology committee. I am on the Canadian heritage committee.

Sometimes it is tough being an MP, but I like it because I feel I am helping to make Canada a better place.

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